In the early 1960s two long established York clubs, Tang Hall and Clifton were facing eviction by their respective landlords, a brewery and the Church.
It became known that land was available at the newly opened Cricket and Rugby Club at Clifton Park, after lengthy negotiations, in which our President John Scott was heavily involved, a merger was agreed and in 1966 the two clubs played as York LTC on the Clifton courts in Water Lane.
The following year the move was made and three red shale courts were opened at Clifton Park.
A small timber pavilion was erected where court 4 now stands, which explains the gap in the fence between courts 3 and 4, it was the original entrance to the courts. The pavilion was subsequently moved with a view to providing a fourth shale court. It was sited, rather inconveniently, on the far side of the access road away from the courts, this was done so that another court could have been built end on to court 5 in some future development.
The present court 5 was the next to be built, there was no winter play in those days, once the first frosts arrived the shale became unplayable, so the top dressed tarmac all weather court was a welcome addition in about 1970.
Courts 1,2 and 3 were red shale. The picture above was taken in 1975 from the site of the present court 4 from where the timber pavilion had been moved.
Around 1976 a small portion of land was purchased from Clifton Hospital, which allowed the angle of the boundary fence to be altered to make room for court 4.
Floodlights were added on court 5 in 1980 and the surface changed to Astroturf, about the same time court 4 was converted to an all-weather surface and floodlights provided.
The photo above shows Court 5 in 1990, the conifer hedge had just been planted at pavilion end.
There followed a period of consolidation until 1994, when courts 1,2 and 3 were floodlit and all the courts re-laid with carpet, sadly,
this was destroyed by flooding in 2000 but, thankfully, they were insured and replaced in 2001.
2008 saw development court 6, named the John Linfoot court, in recognition of John’s hard work over many years.
This was followed in 2010 by the resurfacing of courts 1-5 with astroturf.
With completion of the York Sport Club bar and pavilion, this really makes for a great setting to play your tennis!